Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism


"Praise ye Him, O sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars and light''



Scorpius


 
Apocalypse 12:9 "And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan,
who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him."



After dark in early May, during the month dedicated to Our Lady, we can see Scorpius creeping up over the Eastern horizon. Scorpius is distinct in it shape and because of its intense blood-red heart, a star red like the color of Mars -- a star called Antares, whose name means "Rival of Ares," Ares being the Greek name for the god of war who was known to the Romans as "Mars." This constellation symbolizes the obvious -- Satan -- and the name of its heart not only indicates how similar it is in appearance to the planet Mars, but the war-like nature that these stars symbolize.

As can be guessed from Scripture, Scorpius chases after Virgo, following her Westward across the sky:

Genesis 3:14-15
And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Apocalypse 12:1-6, 17
And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days...

...And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

-- But there is a constellation between them, protecting her: Libra, the symbol of Christ's Offering of Himself to the Father -- the Sacrifice that is the source of grace of the one we address as "Full of Grace." Be mindful, too, that the Blessed Virgin is not only the Mother of Jesus, but the Mother of the Church. She is our Mother, and a symbol of the Church. Not just she, but we, too, are, through the Cross, protected from the Evil One, as depicted by Scorpius.


Decan One: Serpens

In the first decan is the constellation Serpens -- the Serpent -- that is firmly grasped in the hands of the Scorpius's second decan constellation, Ophiucus, the Serpent-Holder. What a perfect sign of the victory of the Cross foreshadowed by the brazen serpent lifted up by Moses, who himself foreshadowed Christ:

Numbers 21:4-9
And they marched from mount Hor, by the way that leadeth to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom. And the people began to be weary of their journey and labour: And speaking against God and Moses, they said: Why didst thou bring us out of Egypt, to die in the wilderness? There is no bread, nor have we any waters: our soul now loatheth this very light food.

Wherefore the Lord sent among the people fiery serpents, which bit them and killed many of them.

Upon which they came to Moses, and said: We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and thee: pray that he may take away these serpents from us.

And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to him: Make a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: whosoever being struck shall look on it, shall live. Moses therefore made a brazen serpent, and set it up for a sign: which when they that were bitten looked upon, they were healed.

John 3:14-15
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting.

 

Decan Two: Ophiucus

Ophiucus holds Serpens such that the snake is divided in half, rendered harmless. Interestingly, the Greek poet, Aratus (d. 240 B.C.) describes Ophiucus as trampling Scorpius with his feet, a fascinating truth given the words of Genesis  3:15:

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Concerning the phrase "she shall crush," the notes to the Douay-Rheims says, "Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent's head."


Decan Three: Hercules

Finally, there is the constellation Hercules, the mighty one who traipses across the night sky from April to October -- and steps with his left leg on the head of Draco, the Dragon, on his route (Draco will always be seen in the northern skies throughout the year). What a fine symbol of the victory of the Cross as manifest in St. John's vision of St. Michael and the powers he's been given to fight the dragon. It's especially interesting when you consider that St. Michael is so often depicted as holding scales with which to weigh souls, reminiscent of the Sign of Libra.

Apocalypse 12:7-9 7
And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.


 

 

Scorpius rises in early May, but is best seen in June and, especially, July, just over the southern horizon.

   

Scorpius relative to other stars in the Summer sky:


Table of Contents

The Zodiac

Introduction

A Tour of the Heavens

Envisioning the Celestial Sphere

The Constellations of the Zodiac

Virgo

Libra
Scorpius

Sagittarius

Capricornus

Aquarius

Pisces

Aries

Taurus

Gemini

Cancer

Leo

Summary and a Few Odds and Ends

The Traditional Catholic View of Astrology



Back to Being Catholic
Index